It's time to come to grips with a long-standing property issue

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"Expropriation of land without compensation."

This is a current-Government policy that is rooted in the ruling ANC party's historic Nasrec Conference in December 2017 - at which Cyril Ramaphosa was elected President of South Africa. It was perceived then - and has since remained - a seemingly intimidating issue for both existing and would-be home owners in South Africa.

Not least so because it is now ensconced in a new draft Bill that aims to amend Section 25 of South Africa's Constitution to allow for land expropriation without providing compensation to the owners of 'seized properties. Is this bill a threat  to residential property values? 

No threat to home values

Granted, a seemingly grey area of the draft Bill is that there is reportedly no clarification at this stage on the issue of nil compensation in certain specific - and, as yet, unpublished - circumstances. One of the early misconceptions among residential property owners in suburbia is that the Bill poses a threat to the value of their homes.

It is quite clear at this stage the roll-out of this policy will not be aimed at the residential suburbs and neighbourhoods of South Africa's cities and towns. It should therefore have little or no negative impact on property values within their arenas.

In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear that the process will be focused initially on unused land already owned by Government and the State - which could well be expropriated first.

I believe it can only be a threat if it lingers, menacingly, as a political tool, over a further prolonged period, and sentiment is driven further downward. 

Get on with it

The Bill is expected to be finalised before the end of March 2020. Until then, homes market uncertainty will no doubt continue to prevail. So, dammit, let's not wait! Let's do this thing - rather than consistently whine about it. Let's get on with embracing, passing and introducing this Bill. It may well not be the bitter pill it has been made out to be.

The negativity that it continues to generate has already been firmly factored both into the economy and into the homes market.

Author: Ronald Ennik

Submitted 10 Jan 20 / Views 114